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January 9, 2017

New Johns Hopkins Report Highlights Economic Impact of Capital Region Nonprofit Sector

For Immediate Release January 9, 2017
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Johns Hopkins Report Highlights Economic Impact of Capital Region Nonprofit Sector

Albany, N.Y.  January 9, 2017 – A recently-completed Johns Hopkins study of Capital Region nonprofit organizations,New York Capital Region Nonprofits: A Major Economic Engine, has made it clear how significant an impact the sector makes on the region’s economy. Among the key findings of the study:

  • The Capital Region’s charitable nonprofit workforce comprises 79,210 persons
  • The associated state income tax payments made by those workers is $125 million
  • The sector mitigated the impact of the 2007-2009 recession on the region. From 2003 to 2013, nonprofits accounted for more than 90% of new jobs created in the Capital Region.


With average nonprofit wages averaging 37% less than state government salaries (not including the value created by benefits), there is room to close the gap while still providing value alternatives for many public functions.

The study was conducted by Lester M. Salamon and Chelsea L. Newhouse of Johns Hopkins University and made possible by funding support from the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON), the Capital Region Chamber, The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, MVP Health Care and The Schenectady Foundation.

“The Capital Region’s nonprofit sector is widely known for its diverse contributions to the community, but the size of its role in the fiscal economy has long been elusive,” said Doug Sauer, CEO, New York Council of Nonprofits.


Previously, as a result of combined private sector employment data, it was unclear how nonprofit policy and funding decisions could impact the economy. Now, as a result of the study, the extent of this important sector can be recognized and used a basis for sound policy decisions.

“While there are still hurdles to overcome to standardize and expedite governmental disclosures of nonprofit economic data, the baseline data in this report is critical to validating the significant and indispensable impact of the broad nonprofit sector throughout our region,” said Mark Eagan, CEO, Capital Region Chamber.

The report coincides with the December 2016 release of a report from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli that looks at New York’s charitable nonprofit sector in relation to the rest of the country.

The Comptroller’s report (that office’s first on this topic in six years) draws similar conclusions about the scope of this sector’s impact on the strengthening of the economy, and finds that, “New York led the nation in both the number of people employed and total wages paid by these organizations.”

While the Capital Region report will answer many existing questions, it is also expected to raise many new ones. However, the charitable nonprofit sector of the region can continue to fulfill its commitment to improving the community with the expectation that decisions from funders, policymakers, and the public need not be made based on philosophy alone.

“The economic impact of area nonprofits is substantial, something worthy of everyone’s attention. Public officials, policymakers and area businesses alike should take notice. That impact, however, pales in comparison to the enormous benefits of goods, services, and improved well-being our communities receive every day thanks to these organizations,” said John G. Eberle, President and CEO, The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.

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NYCON develops and promotes an effective and vibrant charitable nonprofit community throughout New York State.  We strengthen organizational capacity, act as an advocate and unifying voice, help to inform philanthropic giving, and conduct research and planning to demonstrate relevance and impact.